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With three-quarters of B2B organizations using some form of ABM and more than two-thirds (69%) of those organizations reporting that their efforts have met or exceeded expectations, it’s worth seeing the criteria that marketers are finding most effective for targeting accounts. Here’s what a new survey [download page] from Ascend2 found.

More than half (53%) of the nearly 300 marketing professionals surveyed say that one of the most effective targeting criteria used for ABM is the profitability of account deals, making profitability the top criterion.

Close behind, close to half (48%) say it’s effective to target businesses whose needs fit the solution, while 44% find targeting higher yield accounts to be effective. Two-fifths (40%) of respondents also find it effective to target accounts that align with sales strategy.

Research from last year found that one of the key factors in ABM success is being able to measure that success. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents to this most recent survey indicate that the amount of sales revenues generated is their most effective measurement of success. Considerably fewer respondents say that the most effective metrics they use for measuring ABM include marketing and sales qualified accounts (41%), account engagement (38%) and closing rates (34%).

These results differ from research produced by Demand Gen Report and commissioned by LeanData and Vidyard which ranked influenced pipeline, individual campaign and channel metrics, and conversion of engaged account to opportunity as their top three metrics used to measure ABM success.

Meanwhile, Ascend2’s survey also finds that marketing professionals are experiencing an array of challenges when it comes to achieving ABM success. Increasing accounts and contacts as well as improving marketing and sales alignment are considered the most critical challenges, each by 43% of respondents. Others find it a challenge to increase revenues of existing accounts (39%), while more than one-third (37%) cite attribution of marketing efforts to revenue as a critical challenge.

While being able to attribute marketing efforts to revenue is also a primary objective for a little more than one-quarter (27%) of respondents, the other top challenges also rank high on their list of ABM strategy objectives.

At the top of the list is increasing existing account revenue (56%), followed by increasing accounts and contacts (53%). In accordance with what is becoming an age-old problem yet critical ingredient of successful ABM, 47% of respondents say improving alignment between sales and marketing is a primary objective.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Ascend2 surveyed 293 marketing professionals from B2B (46%), B2C (38%) and Mixed B2B/B2C (16%) organizations.

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